Getting under the COLLAR

COLLAR – is an idea right now that I want to turn into a real place – not simply a conceptual space or an online/virtual space, although it can’t escape being those too. But a real space that people can physically come together in to talk and learn and teach each other about the current state of organisational life and how best to survive it. It reflects my passionate belief that we need new institutions to help us survive and thrive in the knowledge economy.

COLLAR stands for the “Centre for Organisational Life, Learning and Associated Research” – the name was provided by MUSICA (Made-Up Silly Institute for Contrived Acronyms) whose previous work was the PICKLE (Public Inspection Centre for Knowledge Learning and Enlightenment). Mmmm….I do like that “Enlightenment” bit, so in homage to PICKLE an alternative name for COLLAR would be LICKLE – the London International Centre for Knowledge Learning and Enlightenment.

“Enough of the stupid name game – geddon with it – Ed”

What’s it for?
The Centre’s primary purpose is to provide a physical space for people to come together to discuss the nature of organisational life in the early 21st Century and to share their experience of ways of dealing with it and managing it. I think it’s important to have an urban location rather than a rural one to make it easy for people to drop in while they’re in town.

The kinds of products that could initially be available to people visiting the centre would be of two types:

Classes and Workshops in tools and techniques

  • Cultivating your creativity

  • Using creativity for better business
  • Developing your 60-second personal pitch
  • Making Personal Knowledge Management work for you

Interesting Conversations

  • Knowledge Cafes (any subject you want to introduce)

  • Talking Walks around interesting areas of London
  • The Talking Shop (ongoing conversations, primarily developing products and ideas)
  • Research Colloquia (gulp this is getting frighteningly academic, let’s stop now)

Haven’t we already got one of those?
If so, then great, point me there and I’ll go and sit on their doorstep until they find a use for me, but I’m not sure. What I have in mind is not as academic as the Business Schools or Management Training Centres. Nor is it as wildly, ecstatically cutting-edge as the Cynefin Centre. It’s the sort of place I’d love to hang out in and do the sort of stuff, for example that we did on BlogWalk IV recently.

Why not?
I can make up a hundred reasons why other people might think this is a bad idea, but I’d rather hear them from other people than to entertain them myself. I think it can work, it’s needed and I’m prepared to put time, effort and money into making it happen. The worst that I can hear is that someone’s already doing exactly this – and as I’ve said, that doesn’t bother me.

What’s needed next?

  • Money
  • Someone other than me to think about it
  • People with time etc. to start making it happen
  • Constructive ideas on making it happen
  • Premises
  • Suggestions of people who might be fired up by this idea (preferably ones who are already sympathetic, but also have some spare cash or cheap, but beautiful premises to offer and don’t want to have complete control over everything – shouldn’t be too hard to find ;-))

Comment here or e-mail me to lend a hand, keep the conversation going or point out any enormous blind spot that you think I have.

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